Windows 10 "Anniversary Update" - Any SmartSDR concerns?

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  • Updated 2 years ago

With Windows 10 Anniversary Update rolling out just under a week from now, are there any SmartSDR issues/concerns/hints to get past this major update?

Rumble is that Windows 10 Anniversary Update is basically the latest Windows 10 Insider Edition with some final launch tweaks.  As several Community Members have said they are doing the Windows Insider updates I'm hoping they may have some advice.

Do we need to budget time to do one of the SmartSDR update procedures or will Windows 10 Anniversary Update install without messing about with SmartSDR/SmartCAT/DAX?

Thank you in advance to any community members and/or FRS who can offer planning advice for this upgrade to Windows 10.

73

Steve K9ZW

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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Posted 2 years ago

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Al / NN4ZZ

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Steve,
If you haven't seen it, there is a video that outlines the changes, and as you noted they seem to be mostly UI tweaks and a few other enhancements to programs that shouldn't impact SSDR.  (but you never know with Win updates)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=004slmUSxHk

I was installing the insider updates on a test machine for a while but stopped when things got stable. 

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 - HW.................. V 1.8.4.84
SSDR / DAX / CAT...... V 1.8.4.168
Win10
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Dan -- KC4GO

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I'm running Windows Insider updates and have no problems. 
I did create a COM port issue the other day but it was self inflicted. 
As I look at most of the problems I have that seems to be the case.. 
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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FWIW... I'm running the latest "fast ring" update (effectively an early release candidate of the Anniversary Update) on a Surface Pro 1 and I have the latest version of SSDR installed. I haven't tested it extensively, but I haven't had any problems so far.

Peter
K1PGV
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KC9NRN

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I'm also on the fast ring, before each OS upgrade I uninstalled SmartSDR, when completed I installed SmartSDR again, so far it has worked flawlessly.
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Gene - K3GC

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I have insider build 14393.5 installed on my test machine.  As normal procedure I uninstalled  SSDR  1.8.4.
When I reinstalled SSDR FlexVSP did not install,and reinstall, uninstall, and reinstall had no effect.  I finally did a search for  FlexVSP in Windows explorer and ran it from there.  It installed perfectly and there have been no further issues.
Not having done further testing I do not know the cause and it may well be unique to my setup.
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G8ZPX

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My previous post on this thread was removed earlier by Tim for suggesting the issue was being ignored, so for clarity here are 2 statements of fact :-

1)      I have raised a couple of threads over a number of weeks about this problem.

2)      At no point has FRS provided any official response by way of

a.       acknowledging the problem

b.       provided feedback that is being (or will be) investigated

c.       come up with a practical solution

The crux of this problem is that other than preventing Windows updates for good, this problem will not go away, and may perpetuate with every new Windows update that requires a registry refresh or a driver enumeration.

Windows updates tend to happen in a chaotic way, almost randomly applied (often unannounced) during the shutdown and/or start-up routines. This means that you cannot take avoiding action before it happens (you won’t know when until it’s too late). You just have to sort out the mess afterwards.

Suggesting a removal and fresh install of SSDR etc before every Windows update is dreadful. Even then you will still somehow need to know that the particular update is going to cause conflicts.

I have seen reports of similar issues on this forum regarding Win 8.1 updates vs CAT/DAX, so it is certainly not a new issue.

The anniversary release begins full roll-out from August 2nd. Fingers crossed!


(Edited)
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KC9NRN

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Steve - Nobody is saying uninstall before every OS "update", the suggestion is before any OS "upgrade" remove SmartSDR and when the upgrade has been completed install SmartSDR again.

Many of us are on the Windows Insider program so we get the OS upgrades on a fast or slower pace (ring) depending on which one the person chose. These are OS upgrades to a slightly newer version so Microsoft can vet additions or fixes prior to rolling them out to the public..

The Anniversary Update is actually an Upgrade to the OS, similar to Service packs in the past. So, updates are fine and as far as I know have been so no need to remove SmartSDR since updates if scheduled can occur weekly.
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G8ZPX

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Tim,

Maybe you misunderstood. I mean my posts (recent questions) have not been replied to. Yes I can see those from over 4 months ago got put on the shelf. I was kind of hoping for some update/progress.

in fact now you mention it, I can see many many posts on the same CAT & DAX vs W10 issues going back well over 12 months.
(Edited)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Your request was not clear in that regard.  I can appreciate your passion for this particular issue, but you may want to consider utilizing a slightly less adversarial style when asking a question.  As we say on this side of the pond, "you catch more flies with honey than you do with poop'" ;-)

As for your status update, we still have not received or uncovered any pertinent  information related to this issue that gets any us closer to root cause.
(Edited)
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G8ZPX

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Hi Tim, Agreed and this is said in jest with a smile on my face, so don't take offence please...

If you spend too much time tasting honey, then don't be too surprised when the pile of festering poop goes bang all over your forum. 
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Michael Coslo

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Hi Steve - Many people have had problems with Windows updates. Flex Radios are only one of many devices - I know, I spend a lot of time getting people's systems running again after updates. Audio problems are the most prevalent, and As long as the Flex radios and the others are using Windows 10, this is to be expected. Probably not what people want to hear, but part of life with Windows. 

While I have not ever had the problem, it might be because I use Enterprise level and stable computers - who knows?

But since I use my radio for emergency preparedness, and teach others the same, I also use DogPark on OS X. 
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Hopefully I have followed all this reasonably well.

What I am taking away is:

  • Most systems seem to deal with the periodic Updates - the push stuff that Microsoft pushes to Windows 10 users to tweak/repair/adjust things.  In general unless you have had Update woes before you generally do not need to go through the remove & reinstall.

  • Less systems weather the full "service pack like" Upgrades - the instances where Microsoft does a larger scale overhaul of the Windows Package without a remove and install.  The same higher risk applies if upgrading Windows versions (say 8.1 to 10).

  • In all cases YMMV as the individual Windows Hardware/Software "brew" is varied in ways that can either mess with usually safe practices or even allow continued trouble free performance when problems might be expected.

  • In all cases allow either Updates or Upgrades to load while the SmartSDR systems are running is not a safe practice. 

  • The exact mechanisms that are causing problems are non-obvious and elusive, preventing FRS from reworking the SmartSDR infrasystem without risking breaking things but just in a different way.


Whittled down further I've taken away simple rules:

  1. Don't let Windows 10 Update when SmartSDR ecosystem is running, though without SmartSDR running usually you can let Updates happen.

  2. Don't let Windows 10 Upgrade without making a backup of your profiles, doing the recommended removal preparation (which means by definition SmartSDR cannot be running) and then reinstall SmartSDR per recommendations after the Upgrade.

  3. If it breaks, try the FRS repair procedures first, and if they don't work put in a repair ticket so you can get the customized assistance your particular setup might need.

Did I get the gist of all this right?  I'd really like to boil it down to a sort of a checklist for use with the hams I help with their setups.

Critique/corrections appreciated.

73

Steve K9ZW


(Edited)
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Walt,
With Win10 PRO you have some control.    

You can set your system to a metered connection and it won't even download them. 
 
You can set when they get installed (or at least when your PC is restarted to activate them).

You can "defer" the updates. 

See snapshots below....but agree I liked the Win7 and previous models better.,

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 - HW.................. V 1.8.4.84
SSDR / DAX / CAT...... V 1.8.4.168
Win10






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Jay / NO5J

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Steve K97W

Your rules appear correct to me.

I'll go way above my paygrade, and point out that whats going on is that for the upgraded files, inside the upgrade to be installed they have to overwrite some of the existing files that are parts of the running Windows 10 system. Windows can't overwrite a running file that's running from Memory (RAM) it "might" be able to overwrite the old file on the disk though. But later it might also overwrite that upgraded file with the older file from memory.

The best approach is going to require ensuring that it's not holding any of the files in the upgrade "open" in memory. So first turn off as much audio related, stuff as possible. remember also that SmartSDR CAT, and DAX, get started at login, (at least they do here), so they also need to be turned off. Both might be holding Win10 Audio files/code, open in memory.

Trying to place the blame on SmartSDR for problems being created by Windows is not part of figuring all this out. (and no one's suggesting that anyone is). The same issues apply when it's SmartSDR that doing the upgrade, (don't blame Windows for those either)

Can't really expect a foolproof procedure, when fools are performing the procedure.
Just pointing out there is a human factor (Did not intend to call anyone a fool), involved.

My possibly overkill solution has been to disable SmartSDR CAT and DAX login startups. and the reboot the PC before installing upgrades.

Ever notice that Windows Updates get installed Pre-Login and Post-Logout, that might be to ensure that nothing is loaded in memory when the overwrite happens.
 
There is really quite a bit of stuff going on behind the curtain.

73, Jay - NO5J
(Edited)
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John, G3WKL

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Walt

With the "base" Win 10 edition (Home?) you can defer the auto-update by connecting via WiFi and setting WiFi as "metered". Override this or connect via Ethernet when you are ready to install the updates/upgrades.

73 John, G3WKL
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Walt - KZ1F

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Thanks John, thanks Al. Sorry guys, I agree with Steve on this one. Those are extraordinary counter measures to try to mitigate something from happening that never should anyway. I already don't want Windows 10 but I had to replace the machine that had Win7 so I 'inherited' win10. There is no way I'd actually pay extra for it. But that's me. I found another solution though so, in that sense, who am I to try and point out the obvious.
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Michael Coslo

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If I might interject, occasionally people have problems with computers that get them to act in a superstitious manner. It seems odd to me that some go to extraordinary lengths to perform gyrations of adding and removing or shutting off various functions, yet I just shut down DAX,  install the new version and delete the previous version's shortcuts - and that's it. Maybe the system logs of broken machines might give some insight, but there is something curious happening between the extremes of hoop jumping and my non-recommended procedure.
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G8ZPX

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okay, maybe I found a clue.

I had a full image backup of the machine just before, and another straight after the W10 upgrade. So, I thought I'd spend some time comparing them on a couple of VMs. Should be in bed long ago but this has got the better of me.

When I unlocked the reg key allowing me to see hidden devices I found some ghosted ports. These were there even on the pre W10 upgrade image! something like COM110 to COM119 I think.

I have not created these ports so I am guessing they might have been there for some time, maybe a previous version of SSDR, or maybe whilst having several SSDR versions installed concurrently. I really don't know where they would have sprung from.

My proper ports are in 3 Groups. COM1=build-in mobo port, COM2 USB to RS232 port (adaptor), COM6-9 PCIe board to give 4 extra 232 ports for SteppIR, rotator etc., COM5 = SSDR

I removed all the previously ghosted ports and then did the W10 update again and all went fine. So that is definitely the priority thing to check before an upgrade. With luck it may be the only thing to check, narrowing the effort and agro involved at least.
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Jay / NO5J

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Steve - G1XOW

Yes, your on top of it now.

Somehow Windows cluttered up your serial ports.
For some reason Windows like to keep it's messes hidden.
Once ghosted they will hang around forever it seems.
The only real solution is to start over without the clutter.

And that requires "manually" removing/deleting/uninstalling each ghosted port, one at a time until none remain.

I'd swear I've seen Ghosted ports return after a reboot, immediately after removing/deleting/uninstalling all of the ghosted ports. So I throw in an extra reboot and re-verification, that they have really all been removed.

Probably just an extra, un-needed, step.
Caused by my own magical thinking, but I do it anyway just for luck.

It seems to be more about Upgrades, either Windows, or SmartSDR, being performed over Ghosted Serial ports, and sometimes Ghosted DAX devices. 

Cleaning out the clutter first is the solution.

But if there's no hidden clutter, upgrades shouldn't break things. And your much more likely to enjoy quick/simple trouble free upgrades. 

BTW, nothing wrong with having Image backups ready, ahead of time.

I Do!

73, Jay - NO5J  
(Edited)
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Jay / NO5J

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Steve 

I was once close enough to hear the screaming when my manager made the mistake of approving an experienced tech doing a little minor mechanical maintenance on a 5ESS switch, outside of the normally "inviolate" Maintenance Window. Accidentally, a nice shiny wrench fell thru the ventilation openings of the switch, down into the innards. After the flames were extinguished and power was restored to the building ... everyone got busy with replacing the majority of the 5ESS switch. Our manager was given 6 months of further employment while, he paid a personal visit to each office in the entire state for a training conference about what Maintenance Windows were really all about. After his tour of shame, he was retired out. Telephone service was restored to the entire downtown Dallas business district after around 36 hours. The trouble hasn't returned either.

Your story reminded me of this. Still makes me want to shudder.

It was a Busy week!

73, Jay - NO5J 
(Edited)
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Michael Coslo

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Walt - what happens after you defer an update as long as you can on W10 Pro, the update will arrive. I usually have to go back in to make certain that the update doesn't reset my settings, as it has several times. So after it gets reset, it doesn't bother to ask any more, just does it.
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Jay / NO5J

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All

I'm just reporting this, and not advising anything. But once I quit trying to block the automatic installation of Windows updates, things improved. There has been some breakage once and a while, but it was breakage I could live with until subsequent updates eliminated the breakage. Image backups let me sleep peacefully overnight.
I did have to resort to the ...
https://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/204975589-How-to-do-a-Complete-uninstall-of-SmartSD... 
instructions once, but I've gotten pretty good at that.

If blocking updates is working for you, Stick to what works for you.

For me it's easier to leave it automatic, so far.

But there's nothing "mission critical" going on in my shack.
And frankly, I enjoy the challenges

73, Jay - NO5J
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KC9NRN

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Jay,

Back in 2002 I designed and built 24 dialers using 10 2port ISA Dialogic boards in a P4 based server. Anybody who knows about either knows ISA isn't compatible with the P4 architecture so they used hardware emulation to get it to work.

These Dialogic cards connected to a 5ESS switch and believe it or not are still running today (I build great servers) through emulation since everybody is ripping out those old switches.

I built those systems with the hope that they would retire them after 8 years, instead the owner has chosen to use the outdated technology and pray they keep going. unfortunately for him while they still work the emulation has issues.

There are no words to describe how happy I am not to be working on dialers anymore.

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Jay / NO5J

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I learned a lot of what I know about the 5ESS that week. My presence during the rehab/repair/reconstruction, helped to earn my reputation for being a solid, serious tech, to conference in when, something really bad happens.

Prior to that event my 5ESS knowledge consisted of Huh? You mean all those blue cabinets the keep locked up on the 3rd floor? Nope sorry I don't have the door combination.

Afterwards I noticed the tendency to be sent wherever/whenever any related training was going on. Eventually I realized they were trying to convert a Transport/Comm Tech, into a Comm Tech/Switchman what they ended up creating was Jack of All Trades/Hybrid, that could be useful in almost any situation. I was mostly known as that guy that was good at (remote on the job distance learning, done while performing whatever they really should have already trained somebody to do in advance). In other words, my name/email/phone numbers, etc tended to rise to top of all the 24/7/365 call-out / on-call lists.

I learned how to take naps, and use beepers and cellphones for alarm clocks.

I now take retirement just as seriously.

I don't ever answer the phone, I do still receive emails.   

73, Jay - NO5J
     
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Jay - I was once on a team that brought down a primary and backup SCP and we killed local number portability service for about 4 minutes while the DB servers rebooted, synced and came back on-line.  The FCC paperwork we had to fill out was extensive.  I can only imagine what that the fallout for having a 5ESS out of service in a high density subscriber area for 36 hours was like.
(Edited)
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K1UO - Larry

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Jay.... During my days as a Tech/Installer with New England Telephone/NYNEX/Bell Atlantic/Verizon I ran into many, many database problems installing the first 24 5ESS Machines here in Maine.  This , however, was in the pre cutover phase...  USUALLY THAT IS... until one day I managed to actually cut over the machine bout 3 days early!!!  .  Working 18 hrs a day, day and night for weeks, finally caught up as I was the only 5ESS test rated technician in the State at the time.  Actually learned a lot in those days working with Bell Labs.  Loved it when they would say  "forget everything I am about to show you" :-)    I had a notebook full of specialty notes that the rest of New England was clamoring for :-)  What amazed me was that none of the Bell Labs guys knew how the 5ESS machine worked end to end....  but they were sure experts in the portion that they had responsibility for and great guys to work with.

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Jay / NO5J

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I didn't save the articles, but I remember it being worded as multiple, record fines, which when you consider they are telecom fines, where a routine fine is in the millions, hmmm?

Everything in the downtown area served by that switch, which was everything, 911 service, Internet, all PBXs,  were down. no ringing, no dialtone, no way to report it.

Communications wise, Downtown Dallas vanished, for 3 days.

We had to drive outside the outage area in order to access the telco's own computerized  network ticket and monitoring system. if you needed a print out of a circuit. you had to drive about 5-10 miles login, print it and drive back.

For switch replacement parts, the warehouse was told to just ship us a complete "Set" ASAP. whatever they didn't have on hand we had to trackdown and then go "Borrow" permanently, sometimes even when that board was in standby service. many times
borrowed in the dead of night when nobody was working in the office. I think I remember leaving IOU post-it notes stuck to monitor screens for record keeping purposes. I didn't  sign them.  

Except for all the extra driving, it was actually kind of peaceful, all the phones stopped ringing. 

73, Jay - NO5J
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Jay / NO5J

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Tim 
I worked the same stuff from the Telco side. I can remember plenty of "nervous" situations but I never actually broke anything personally. But I've watched my coworkers meltdown into nervous breakdowns more than a few times. And had to step in, and recover for them.

I spent about half my time "riding" on outage conference calls as one of the silent "expert" advisors.

A call would ring in, to my position and a machine voice would say press 1 for instructions, etc. instructions might be a ticket number, and a request to press X to join the conference. 

Sometimes the conference would say "who just joined?" sometimes it would say, "Was that you Jay?"

Really they can't send you to school for this stuff.
You learn it by doing it. Once and a while, by doing it badly.

Much of the technology is, "One Off". as in, this may be the only one, doing this, right now.  

73, Jay - NO5J
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Jay, what year was this? I lived in Dallas from '81-85.
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Jay / NO5J

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Ken

Sometime between 95 and 2000, It was pretty soon after I'd finished transport training. Started in Dallas in the spring of 95, the first two or three years my work consisted of going to schools, working disconnects, and shadowing the folks working tickets. My manager had been the manager of the office where the 5ESS was. he had just transfered to my building and was filling in at his old office until a replacement was selected. When he approved the disaster. immediately after the service was restored. He was banned from that office. And he started being responsible for our crew.   If I think on it long enough I'll probably come up with an exact date. My brain just does that, Garbage goes in, and get's filed away on the off chance, a need for garbage comes up later,  Sometimes feels like "Stage 4 Deja Vu". So far I'm getting the impression it began around 9 am on a Thursday.


73, Jay - NO5J
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Jay / NO5J

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In an effort to try to put this thread back on track.
Sorry!

Tip:

Create a windows shortcut with the following as the Target.

C:\Windows\System32\perfmon.exe /rel

Just paste that into the target field when creating or editing the shortcut.

Name the shortcut, Reliability Monitor.

Then try opening it.

It gives you a view of your Windows 10 performance over time.

I will display any updates as they are installed and whether they were successfully installed or not.

It's sort of an update logger in that respect.

It also show you things like Driver crashes, SmartSDR Crashes, etc.

Each time you open it it opens with the current status highlighted on the far right.

Play around with it and you will find a lot of information you didn't realize was available.

I Pinned this shortcut to the taskbar and slid it to appear first on the left side of the taskbar. 

You might find it useful as the Windows 10 Anniversary Updates are rolled out.

73, Jay - NO5J
 
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Steven G1XOW

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If you want to know details about security updates, this is the best way to find out prior to downloading/installing it.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/mt637763.aspx